The Senate’s self-proclaimed “grim reaper” has returned.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is keeping his Republican conference largely unified, and it’s creating major obstacles to President Biden’s legislative agenda.
McConnell has maintained the loyalty of his fellow GOP senators despite repeated attacks by former President Trump, who has called on Senate Republicans to oust him as their leader.
And it was McConnell’s opposition to a House-passed bill establishing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission that snuffed out the legislation in the Senate on Friday.
One GOP senator said the measure would have garnered enough votes to pass the chamber and eventually land on Biden’s desk had McConnell not gotten involved.
“The vote on the commission would have had 60 votes in the absence of McConnell’s position,” said the Republican lawmaker who ended up voting against the bill.
The senator said the vote outcome was a good example of just how influential McConnell is in the conference.
McConnell warned GOP senators at a Republican lunch earlier this week that creating a Jan. 6 commission could create a political distraction and undermine the party’s political message heading into the 2022 midterm elections, when they hope to win back both the House and Senate.